Beek, Martinus Adrianus°

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BEEK, MARTINUS ADRIANUS° (1909–1987), Dutch Bible scholar and Orientalist. He was minister of the Dutch Reformed Church and professor of the exegesis of the Hebrew Bible (in the Faculty of Theology) and of Hebrew language and literature (in the Faculty of Humanities) at the University of Amsterdam (1946–74). He was the successor to Judah L. *Palache, who was dismissed from his position in November 1940 and murdered in Auschwitz (1944).

Beek's books include works on Jewish apocalyptic literature, the literature and history of the Mesopotamian area, the history of Ancient Israel, a general introduction to the Bible, the modern State of Israel, and Martin Buber. Most of his books have been translated into English and/or German. From his many articles mention should be made of his "Saturation Points and Unfinished Lines in the Study of Old Testament Literature" (in Dutch, 1968; transl. in: Voices from Amsterdam, 1994) which became a stimulus for his students to explore new methods of interpretation. He was an initiator of the Societas Hebraica Amstelodamensis, which became known for the Amsterdamse Cahiers series and the translation of Ruth, Jonah, and other biblical books into Dutch ("to be read aloud"), published by the Dutch Bible Societies.

Of his many administrative activities outside the university mention should be made of his longstanding work for the Liberal Protestant radio corporation in the Netherlands (vpro), the Netherlands-Israel Friendship League, the Bible Museum in Amsterdam, and the Praemium Erasmianum.

He was succeeded by Karel A. Deurloo (Faculty of Theology) and by Maas Boertien (Faculty of Humanities), who edited Tractate Nazir in the Giessener Mischna (1971).


M.S.H.G. Heerma van Voss (ed.), Travels in the World of the Old Testament (1974), incl. bibl.; Suppl. to bibl. in: Amsterdamse Cahiers voor exegese en bijbelse theologie 5 (1984); M.A. Beek, Wegwijzers en wegbereiders. Een halve eeuw oudtestamentische wetenschap. (1975); L. van Reijendam-Beek (ed.), 'Hier blijven half alle ogenblikken'. Keuze uit het werk van M.A. Beek (1988); M. Kessler (ed.), Voices from Amsterdam (1994); I.E. Zwiep, in: P.J. Knegtmans and P.T. van Rooden (eds.), Theologie in ondertal (2003); J. Siebert-Hommes, ibid.

[F.J. Hoogewoud (2nd ed.)]